Added to this, the need for very little infrastructure in the composition has opened up a world of possibilities in lighting design.

This is something that lighting designer, Ingo Maurer – who dreamed of creating illuminated wallpaper for many years – has embraced. A project close to his heart, he joined forces with custom wallpaper manufacturer, Architects Paper, the premium brand from AS Creation Tapeten AG, Europe’s largest wallpaper manufacturer, to create the first wallpaper with fully integrated LED lamps.

Featuring hundreds of small spots of light, the paper transforms walls into extravagant, choreographed light shows, breaking new ground in lighting technology and interior illumination, and creating, as one can imagine, a spectacular overall effect.

“Product development takes time, as well as pure wallpaper printing,” says Martin Hisge, marketing manager of Architects Paper. “A lot of new electro-technical work was required, for which we had to find solutions.”

The wall covering works like a printed circuit board. According to Maurer’s original idea for glowing walls, the design and function go hand in hand. On white or green matt non-woven wallpaper, the conducting paths are printed double-sided as a closed circuit. Then white, red and blue LEDs are fixed onto the paths with carefully developed glue. The red and blue diodes form optical cuboids with the white lights loosely and irregularly spread around them.

The wallpaper is covered by the appropriate fire protection classifications and can be fixed to a wall with normal wallpaper adhesive. A drop of 320 x 60 centimetres features five pattern repeats of 48 white, 60 blue and 60 red LEDs. At full strength, 840 LEDs in one drop of arranged LEDs is a total of 60 Watt.

The base material is a dimensionally stable non-woven paper. The paper is printed on both sides. A conductive paste is applied to the back and a conductive silver paint is applied to the front. Tiny three millimetre LEDS are placed on the conductive tracks by hand and are glued into place using a specialised silver adhesive. The finished wallpaper is attached to a wall with standard wallpaper glue.

“The LED wallpaper offers exciting possibilities to illuminate rooms – dimmed, enigmatic light hardly revealing where the shine is coming from, or an urban vibrating atmosphere – to mention only a couple of options. It’s magic!” says Maurer, who is very excited about the release.

“A big advantage also is that the LED wallpaper can be hung in more or fewer strips and lengths according to the architecture and furnishing of a room,” adds Maurer. “Interior designers have the choice.”

Maurer and Architects Paper recently won the German Design Council’s 2012 Interior Innovation Award for their LED wallpaper.

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